Learning about Amphibians from the Outside In
Third grader Leland A., with the help of his fellow IA third graders, shares how studies of amphibians evolve over Lower Elementary.
Each year we third graders study the internal functions of amphibians, such as the circulatory, respiratory, and reproductive systems. The first graders study the external parts of an amphibian such as the eyes, hind legs, and the nostrils.
Together, we recently visited the American Museum of Natural History, a few blocks away from MMS. Each third grader partnered with a first grader to show them the ropes at the museum and teach them a few things. We we went to the Hall of Reptiles and Amphibians and went on a scavenger hunt looking for new information about amphibians. We visited each display to answer the questions, and we talked about our new findings! For example: Did you know that the Goliath frog is the biggest frog in the world? Its body can be one foot in length! Also, the Surinam toad lays eggs, and her mate plasters them on her back. The eggs sink in, and the mother’s skin grows over them. The eggs develop in these pouches under her skin, and after they hatch, they continue to live under her skin for several months. We were even able to answer a lot of the first graders’ questions and taught them how to behave at a museum. They did a pretty good job even though they are very young.